Word of The Day for Monday, March 28, 2011


dif•fi•dent (DIF-i-duhnt)  adj

1. lacking confidence in one's self; distrustful of one's own powers; not self-reliant; timid; modest; bashful
2. characterized by modest reserve
3. (archaic)  lacking confidence in others; distrustful

diffidence noun;  diffidently adverb

mid-15c., from L. diffidentem (nom. diffidens), prp. of diffidere "to mistrust, lack confidence," from dis- "away" + fidere "to trust"

Synonyms: hesitant, unconfident, bashful, chary, constrained, demure, distrustful, flinching, meek, mousy, reluctant, reserved, retiring, self-conscious, self-effacing, sheepish, shrinking, shy, suspicious, timid, timorous, unassertive, unassuming, unassured, unobtrusive, unpoised, unsure, withdrawn
Related Words: fiduciary, confidence, faith

Sentence Examples:
• About this time there arrived in Virginia a dissolute stranger with a literary turn of mind—rather seedy he was, but very quiet and unassuming; almost diffident, indeed. He was so gentle, and his manners were so pleasing and kindly, whether he was sober or intoxicated, that he made friends of all who came in contact with him.  -Roughing It, Mark Twain

• Though but a retired student, and teacher of the canon law, a humble-minded man of letters, and a diffident imperial Counsellor, yet is he to be numbered among the greatest Evangelists and Reformers of mediæval Europe whose trumpet-toned tongue penetrated into regions where the names of Luther or Erasmus were but an empty sound, if even that. -The Ship of Fools, Sebastian Brandt

• It was probably in consequence of this feeling that only one or two—the boldest of the bold of this dashing fraternity—had, so far, mustered up the courage to approach the young lady with a distinct proposal of marriage; and these, it is hardly necessary to say, had been firmly, but as pleasantly as possible, sent to the right-about. This class of lovers gave Lucy no trouble whatever; bold as they might be in the pursuit of their lawless avocation, they were diffident to the verge of absurdity in the presence of beauty, if associated with dignity and refinement; they were painfully conscious of their uncouth bearing and manners; and Lucy had little difficulty in keeping them at a proper distance. -The Voyage of the Aurora, Harry Collingwood

Sources: Wordnik, Online Etymology, Dictionary.com

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

1 comment:

-E- said...

I like that you incorporated "Roughing It." Keep up the good work!

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